Thank you Dora Hiers for the invitation to blog hop with other writers and for your interest in my writing journey.
Years ago I dreamed of being a children’s author. I wrote a series of what I thought were clever safety books and mailed off many query letters. I just knew that this series was the next big hit so I sat back and waited for the offers to come my way. Then the mounds of rejection letters started coming in and I packed up my writing supplies and put them away thinking that I would get it all back out when “the time was right.”
Keeping my desire to write a secret, I put off what I wanted to do. Rejection letters always in the back of my mind, I found any excuse I could tell myself to keep from working my craft. But all that changed last fall when I received a thought-provoking question from a near-stranger, “So why aren’t you writing your own children’s books?” Challenged by this question, I got out my supplies, my story notes, and my essentials. I began again, but with a vengeance.
Talk about fate! Why had this person asked me that and why did I feel compelled to work hard enough to take them up on their challenge?
With a little luck and many faithful prayers, I received a contract for my first children’s picture book, What Should Daisy Do? last month. It is due out in September just in time for National Fire Prevention Week and the fire prevention activities during the month of October. I hope that it is my first of many books that capture the interest of young children and inspire parents/caregivers to make safety education a part of their everyday lives.
WHAT AM I WORKING ON?
My focus has always been on books that teach safety education. I am a Fire & Life Safety Educator for a local fire department and use many picture books in my daily work. My desire to write my own came out of need. I found books with outdated information or misinformation. Those were books that I couldn’t use. Often times, I found myself writing my own stories, songs, poems, etc. to go with my lesson plans rather than use material that was already in print.
HOW DOES MY WORK DIFFER FROM OTHERS IN MY GENRE?
I back my work with the most accurate safety information available from credible resources across the country such as Safe Kids Worldwide, the National Fire Protection Association, Center for Disease Control, etc. Being a safety advocate by trade keeps me focused on the greatest risks that young children face today and the accurate information these children and parents/caregivers need to hear.
WHY DO I WRITE WHAT I DO?
I’d by telling a fib if I didn’t say that it comes naturally. Some people separate their work life from their personal life, but for me they are one in the same. Some of my best inspirations for lesson plans or activities have come at times when I am away from work. Sitting by the fire pit, playing with the dogs… those are just a few of the times that I have received inspiration for such work. When the moment comes, I am receptive to the creative process.
HOW DOES YOUR WRITING PROCESS WORK?
As you can already tell, I write in spurts. I keep a notepad handy even though I have quick access to computers, tablets, and smartphones. I like to see my work in my writing and make my rough edits on paper. Then I move on to the computer, but I am not usually sitting crouched over a desk. My favorite place to write is at the table under the pecan tree in the late afternoon. If not there, a park bench under a picnic shelter will do.
So, who is with me? Who writes in odd places?
I’d love to hear about your writing process!
I hope that you will take time to visit the blogs of several of my writing buddies.
Visit Donna Earnhardt, author of Being Frank and Board Member of Write2Ignite!
Visit Laura Taylor who is expecting her first chapter book out this fall. She would love to tell you about her writing journey.